Haiti (MNN) — Yesterday marked the second anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people. The 7.0 quake left thousands homeless and forced many to leave Port-au-Prince. Medical Teams International was in Haiti just hours after the quake. providing medical care for the many in need.
President and CEO of Medical Teams International Bas Vanderzalm says, "It has been difficult for the country to recover. There has been a change in the government. There was a cholera epidemic. There had not been cholera in Haiti for over 60 years. Suddenly that came back, and it was a huge threat to people living in the tent shelters."
Today, Medical Teams International is still there. Vanderzalm says in recent months, they started working in a camp of 50,000 people. "They haven't been able to rebuild yet, so, they've built small homes north of Port-au-Prince. We are operating a clinic there that actually is a church on Sunday. We're also helping with a clinic for people who've lost their arms or legs." Medical Teams is providing prosthetics and therapy so they can get back out, be productive, and provide for their families.
Medical Teams works with the local church. Vanderzalm says the believers not only use the facility for church, but they help during the week. "They're there for prayer and counseling, and outreach to people who may not just have physical needs, but whose lives have been shattered by what has happened and are looking for hope for eternity."
While it has been two years, Vanderzalm reminds us that it took New Orleans a long time to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. The devastation was even more widespread in Haiti, he says, and this is an ongoing commitment which will take years to complete.
That's why financial help continues to be a need in Haiti. Vanderzalm says it doesn't take very much money to make a huge difference. "For $50, we can provide medical care to a family and perhaps save a life. $100 will help us with the work we're doing to provide prosthetics and limbs to people who otherwise might not be able to walk or work."
Physically and spiritually, Medical Teams International is having a profound impact on Haiti. If you're feeling called to help them reach out, click here.